I’ve invested into Energy Star rated windows and doors, caulked, weather-stripped and insulated
Living in Buffalo, New York, means investing into both a heating and cooling system. Although the summer seasons are typically quite short, the temperature often soars into the high eighties. The humidity can be brutal. The muggy conditions make it impossible to get comfortable during the day or sleep well at night. Without air conditioning, the home becomes the perfect environment for breeding mold, mildew, bacteria and dust mites. The winters in Buffalo tend to last more than half the year. It’s not usual to rely on the furnace for eight months straight. We often have snow at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We’ve already had a blizzard on Mother’s Day in May. The temperature is frequently below freezing, and it’s not unusual for it to dip into the negatives. The wind chill makes it dangerous to spend any time outdoors. Unfortunately, hiding in the house isn’t an option. Constant snowfall means continual shoveling, scraping and plowing. I devote hours to clearing a path to the mailbox, brushing off the car and clearing off the front steps. While I enjoy the drastic change of weather, I am not thrilled with the cost of my utility bills. I’ve done the math and heating and cooling expenses add up to around 50% of the household energy usage. I am always on the lookout for ways to eliminate energy waste. I’ve invested into Energy Star rated windows and doors, caulked, weather-stripped and insulated. I’ve added ceiling fans and upgraded to a smart thermostat. Despite all my efforts, I still cringe when I get the electric or gas bill in the mail.